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Olympic Boxing changed by Conlan vs Nikitin forever?

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  • 2 min read

Before Michael Conlan got to the Olympics in Rio, he had already heard the bad rumor: he would not be treated correctly.

Conlan knew that winning the medal that he dreamed about would not be as easy. Conlan is a start – a reigning European and World Champion – and he had also won the London bronze medal.

But when it comes to the Rio Olympics, he knew that it would be quite difficult to earn his victory.

A Prior Warning

After he had lost to Vladimir Nikitin several times in the past Olympics, he has an increasing desire to get his revenge and match up the scores. He had ached for a rematch ever since 2006, when he left Rio enraged, believing that the judges robbed him of his medal. 

In the Irish quarterfinal of 2016, Conlan saw Nikitin enter the scene with a few very visible stitches – some of them actually looking like staples on the side of his skill. Conlan knew that something wasn’t right even then – and his bad feeling grew even stronger when the referee told him to keep his head up before the sound of the bell. 

The referee had never said anything like that to him, which also triggered the warning bells in Conlan’s mind. That summer, Conlan fought for his life, successfully managed to beat Nikitin – and he has still lost the medal. Many who bet on sport had quite an unpleasant surprise when they found out the news.

The Olympic Winner

The first round of the match was easily Conlan’s success. He was accurate and fast, while it seemed like Nikitin was only chasing shadows. Conan was winning, and Nikitin was losing – which is why everyone was so surprised to find out that Nikitin was actually given the round.

Evidently, Conlan was enraged – and after trying to claim for his rights, he received the warning, along with the news that he would not be given the matched. One would normally assume that at the ring of the bell there would be a clear winner – but apparently, it was not the case.

In the end, this match changed forever the way in which Olympic boxing is viewed – at least where Rio is concerned.